Deadlock and mimicry of Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar is unfortunate

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The inappropriate and undemocratic behavior of the ruling party or the opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha is not only indecent, inappropriate and without dignity but also tarnishes the ideal traditions of the world’s largest democracy. Opposition MPs were protesting in the Parliament complex after a total of 141 MPs, 95 from the Lok Sabha and 46 from the Rajya Sabha, were suspended since the winter session. During this, they raised slogans and mimicked Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar. Certainly, this kind of insulting and indecent behavior is a worrying incident of tarnishing India’s democracy. Vice President is the highest and most respectable post, hurting its dignity and attacking it means an evil attempt to tarnish the identity and existence of the nation. Then Vice President Dhankhar termed the incident as shameful and said that it is ridiculous and unacceptable that one MP is making fun of me and another MP is making a video of that incident. Vice President Dhankhar said that I do not care about myself, I can tolerate this. But I will not tolerate disrespect to the chair. It is my responsibility to maintain the dignity of this chair. My caste, my background, this chair have been insulted. Here it is not just about insulting democracy. The ongoing trend of insulting people holding constitutional positions by mimicking them and making political attacks on our constitutional supreme institutions is, in a way, an attack on the image of India. The suspension of so many MPs and the insult to the Vice President will be seen as unfortunate events in democratic history.

It is the panic of the opposition parties that they are using all legitimate and illegitimate means to save their slipping political ground, forgetting that they too have some limits and democratic responsibilities. The same opposition is crossing all limits of democratic decorum by using derogatory words sometimes for the President, sometimes for the Vice President and sometimes for the Prime Minister. For the Prime Minister, dictator, Hitler, despicable, merchant of death or many other derogatory words have been used. Now, the way Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar was insulted has violated all decorum in public life. Disagreement and criticism in a democracy is a sign of a healthy democracy and it needs to be taken as such, but incidents like dogmatism, destructive policies and mimicry have an adverse effect on democracy. How will the golden dream of Lok Rajya, Swarajya, Surajya, Ramrajya be realized on the foundation of such undemocratic opposition? Here all the parties are busy in building their own empire. However, all the undemocratic protests and unruly attitude of the opposition parties have created an atmosphere of disappointment.

The main reason behind the standoff between the ruling party and the opposition is the lapse in security of Parliament last week. There is no doubt that this is a serious issue. The only question is why both the parties are not able to find a way to discuss this serious issue inside the House? Why are the opposition parties adamant that the Union Home Minister should give a statement on this serious issue related to law and order, while the government says that the security inside the Parliament is the responsibility of the Speaker and hence the Home Minister should give a statement on this. Would not be appropriate. There is no restriction on criticism of any thought, action, decision and lifestyle in the democratic system. But it is the duty of the critic to carve it with the chisel of his criticism only after understanding the former aspect correctly. It is not appropriate to criticize any fact by presenting it in a wrong form. How can our understanding of parties, people and ideologies whose sole purpose is to criticize be correct? Why would someone whose job is to defame any good work or opinion carry the mirror of truth?

Due to the deadlock created by the stubbornness of the opposition parties, there is no possibility of smooth functioning even in the remaining days of the winter session of the Parliament. Keep in mind, this is the last full session of the current Lok Sabha before the next general elections and many important bills are to be discussed in it. But looking at the attitude of the party and the opposition, it seems that in the absence of the opposition and without any discussion, these bills will have to be declared passed. How sad it seems when work cannot be done properly in Parliament for many days. Such a series of controversies are created that all decency and decorum are put aside in Parliament. Controversies happen in Parliament as well as on the streets. But cannot Parliament be allowed to become a road? By the way, such occasions come again and again in Indian parliamentary history, when elements of mutual conflict are more and efforts for coordination and harmony are seen very less. It is clear that if both the parties remain firm on their stand then it will be difficult for Parliament to function. Repeatedly recurring scenarios of creating ruckus, displaying indecency, mimicry and instigating violent incidents in the Parliament would be considered as playing with the dignity of Indian democracy. For a successful democracy, along with the ruling party, a strong and decent opposition is also needed.

It is noteworthy that President Draupadi Murmu is extremely distressed by the way the Vice President was insulted. The entire nation is distressed. The President said that the elected representatives are free to express their views but their expression should be within the bounds of decorum and decorum. He has said that we have parliamentary traditions of which we are proud and we hope to maintain them. India’s parliamentary system is popular and ideal in the world, yet it is unfortunate that due to the desire for power and political differences, incidents of blurring of the parliamentary system keep happening. Now, disruption of Parliament proceedings and parliamentary deadlock have become common. Parliament is a platform where MPs from the opposition are free to criticize and express their opposition, unparliamentary and aggressive way of expressing their protest, conflict between the ruling party and the opposition and making noise instead of meaningful debate to make their protest bigger. How can situations of drunkenness, sloganeering and mimicry be called democratic?

– Lalit Garg

Writer, Journalist and Columnist

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